SEVERAL exhibits in the Republic Bank San Juan branch robbery trial were destroyed by fire during the 1990 Muslimeen assault on Police Headquarters.
This was the word coming yesterday from State prosecutor Geoffry Henderson when he indicated to the court that a videotape from the bank’s security camera which had been tendered in evidence at the Magistrates Court, bad been destroyed in the attempted coup.
Earlier in the trial, State witness Savitri Chuleung, a senior treasury officer at the bank, told the court that when she was kidnapped from her home and being taken to the bank, her kidnappers told her that men with machine-guns were waiting for them at the bank.
When the State attempted yesterday to lead the evidence of Harold Steel, who at the time was manager at the bank, the defence objected to his evidence relating to the video camera.
Henderson, and defence attorneys, Desmond Allun, SC, Martin George, Pamela Elder and Algernon Jack, spent the afternoon arguing the admissibility of evidence relating to destroyed exhibits, and if doing so would be prejudicial and fair to the accused. At the conclusion, Justice Baird decided to defer his ruling and hearing of further evidence from Steel until a point later in the trial.
Before the Port-of-Spain Second Criminal Court, are Denzl Patterson and two former bank workers, Vernon Dookeran and Elvis Balgobin, charged with the bank robbery of close to TT$2 million and other foreign monies, on the morning of February 12, 1985.